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The Psychopath’s Trade Mark Essay

1583 words - 7 pages

`“Good people are rarely suspicious; they cannot imagine others doing the things they themselves are incapable of doing...Then, too, the normal are inclined to view the multiple killer as the as the one who’s as monstrous in appearance as he is in mind, which is about as far from the truth as one could well get...these monsters of real life usually looked and behaved in a more normal manner than their actually normal brothers and sisters: they presented a more convincing picture of virtue than virtue presented of itself—just as the wax rosebud or the plastic peach seemed more perfect to the eye, more what the mind thought a rosebud or a peach should be than the imperfect original from which ...view middle of the document...

As a society, we cannot get enough of this confounding breed of people, and the media and pop culture have done a great job of taking advantage of these individuals. For years now, Hollywood has profited off the psychopath by painting pictures of the psychopathic killer. Books and movies have created blood-curdling personalities like Hannibal Lecter, Patrick Bateman, The Joker, Cathy Ames, and Jack Torrance. Meanwhile, newscasting has given eternal fame to extreme psychopaths such as Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Richard Ramirez. That these characters and serial killers are not truly representative of the majority of psychopaths, as they are far too violent, makes no difference to the entertainment and newscasting industries. Unfortunately, these caricatures are believed to be accurate portrayals of psychopaths in our modern society, demonizing these individuals through their dehumanization.

Today, many people hold the idea that psychopaths are either cold blooded killers or convicts. The general public has not been educated to see beyond the social stereotypes to understand that psychopaths can be entrepreneurs, politicians, CEOs and other successful individuals who may never see the inside of a prison and who do not engage in violent crimes (Hare 80). However, they do often commit violations of another sort: they may exploit people, commit white collar crimes, engage in philandering or cheating, may neglect financial and family responsibilities, or may take advantage of company resources (Hare 81). Ultimately, psychopaths may prove to be treacherous employees, conniving businessmen, or immoral officials who use their position to terrorize people while enriching themselves.

The attraction society feels for baneful criminals is certainly puzzling and bizarre. This fatal attraction is found during the trial of notorious killers, where groupies show up to get a glimpse of the criminal. Ted Bundy, Richard Ramirez and John Gacy, to give a few examples, all had their own elated fanatic section in the courtroom (Hare 157). Reportedly, while in jail, Ted Bundy received tons of mail from adoring fans offering to have sex with him (“The Making…”). Moreover, there was an assumption about Ted’s victims that they all had their hair parted in the middle and wore hoop earrings, so Ted’s groupies would show up to court with their hair parted in the middle wearing hoop earrings, all in hopes of attracting Bundy (Rule 418). In cases like these, the most callous offender is turned into a celebrity. And with this obsession, we have created serial- killer comic books, board games, and even trading cards. Today, the term “psychopath” is synonymous with “entertainment,” and the exploitation of this disorder has not only created an inaccurate portrayal of psychopaths, but has also turned psychopathic individuals into hopeless cases. If people with schizophrenia, cancer, or bipolar disorder were abused in a similar manner, it would be perceived as cruel. But...

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